【LECTURE】Selling Japanese Tea in the Nineteenth-Century United States: Marketing and Race from the Inside & Outside

 Date 2018 4. 20(Fri.)  17:00-18:30
Venue Central Library, 8th Floor,  Room L-821, Yotsuya Campus, Sophia University
Language English
Registration No previous registration is necessary.
 Lecturer Prof. Robert Hellyer, Wake Forest University, Hakuho Foundation Research Fellow, International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken)
In 1860, Japanese green tea made its debut in New York and over the next few decades gained a significant share of the green-tea-dominated US market, challenging the monopoly previously enjoyed by Chinese teas.  Japanese teas made such inroads thanks partly to advertisements produced by East Coast printing houses that presented Chinese tea producers in demeaning ways, in contrast to more generous images offered of their Japanese counterparts. In the 1890s a new, “outside” element entered the US tea market: an India-Ceylon tea lobby that worked to convince Americans to turn away from Japanese and Chinese green teas and instead begin consuming their black teas.  Throughout much of the decade, the lobby employed a negative advertising campaign, successful in Britain and Australia, which painted Japanese and Chinese green teas as dirty and dangerous, produced by sweaty coolies in backward factories, in contrast to the modern, mechanized, and “white-supervised” facilities in India and Ceylon.  The negative campaign proved successful, helping to transform the United States into the predominately black-tea-consuming nation it remains today.
This presentation will examine this fluid landscape of racial imagery in tea advertising to offer observations about American conceptions of East Asians in the late nineteenth century. It will also consider the India-Ceylon negative campaign through the experiences of a Singhalese merchant working to establish an import and retail tea firm in Chicago.
Poster Fryer_0420